The Haunted Hotel was the best dark ride in the entire region, and one of the only haunted house rides, all the other haunted houses are walk throughs. This ride was destroyed along with other fixed structures in the park during Feb – March 2007, after operating for the last time on the Sept. 30, 2006 “Last Ride” event. Burroughs & Chapin was unable to sell this ride, so the fate of the props, and effects is not known. During its last season of operation, it had many maintenance problems, when I rode it in August, and at the Last Ride, many of the effects weren’t working, different ones each time. This was the 2nd fixed haunted house ride at the Pavilion Amusement park, an earlier ride was located on the direct opposite side of the park, towards 8th Ave. North. This may have been an original Bill Tracey dark ride, with gravity-powered cars. The Haunted Hotel was originally the “Haunted Inn”, built in 1978 by Funni-Frite of Pickerington which made props for many haunted houses across the country. Funni-Frite started in the early 1960’s as a contractor to Philadelphia Toboggan Company, to produce gags and effects for their funhouses. They also built portable rides for carnivals, constructing almost 500 before they closed in 1999. Funni-Frite is no longer in business, the company and its assets were sold at auction on January 15, 2000. The original manufacturer’s plate is still behind the operator with the date that the ride was originally manufactured In 1978 as The Haunted Inn. The Haunted Inn had a large skull in the middle of the rooftop, with bone fingers on each side that moved. The Haunted Inn was renamed and renovated in 1992-93 by Leonard Pickel of Elm Street Hauntrepreneurs then Later on in 1997-98 by The Sally Corporation who did an extensive renovation in three phases with added animatronics, exterior signage & a new animated greeter named Gravesly.
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